The problem of dysfunctional motherhood in the latest foreign researches



The article analyzes updated foreign empirical developments on the problem of early dysfunctional motherhood. The article is based on the idea of dysfunctional motherhood as a historically evolving psychological phenomenon with multiple risk factors for the health of the child in the first years of life. In view of the discreteness of the evidence, the authors confined their analysis to the diversity of internal and external causes of early deviant motherhood. These are the environmental and biological (genetic) prerequisites of the "hidden" maternal coldness. The last were examined with the help of placenta telomeres as the biomarkers of the parenthood style. Telomeres proved to bear the traces of the deferred exposure of maternal early stress and its influence on the following generations. Maternal coldness also seems to be a latent mechanism of deviant behavior during gestational and postpartum depression and disturbances of neural empathy mechanisms and deformation of attachment. The article also discusses the American model of the relationship of maternity style with indicators of toxic stress in children in which the innovative factor of reflexive functioning of the parent is analyzed.

General Information

Keywords: parent functioning, dysfunctional motherhood, cold mother, gestational depression, biomarkers, internal and external risk factors

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology and Age-Related Psychology

Article type: review article


For citation: Ermolova Т.V., Ivolina T.V., Dedova O.V., Litvinov A.V. The problem of dysfunctional motherhood in the latest foreign researches [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2019. Vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 25–37. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2019080403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Тatiana V. Ermolova, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Chair of Foreign and Russian Philology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatiana V. Ivolina, – assistant professor of the Department of Foreign and Russian philology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Educatio, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Olga V. Dedova, Assistant Professor of the Department of Foreign and Russian Philology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexander V. Litvinov, PhD in Education, professor of the chair of foreign and Russian philology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, associate professor at Foreign Languages Department at the Facultyof Economics (RUDN University), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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